Have you been charged with cyber-stalking in Massachusetts? Choose an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer. Choose O’Brien Law Boston.
Use of the Internet to threaten and harass is an ever-increasing problem. With e-mail, instant messaging, social networking sites, chat rooms, bulletin boards and more, there are countless mediums that can now be used to stalk people online.
Cyber-stalking is a crime under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 43. It prohibits willfully and maliciously, and with the intent to create fear of death or bodily injury, engaging in a knowing pattern of conduct or series of acts directed at a specific person that seriously alarms or annoys that person and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress. The statute covers e-mail and Internet communications as well as telephone communications and faxes. Cyber-stalking is punishable by up to 5 years in state prison or by a fine of up to $1,000 or by up to 2 ½ years in the house of correction or both the fine and the imprisonment.
Cyber-stalking has been broken down into several main types. The first and most common is these is “of women”, and includes threats of rape or other forms of violence. Another common form is “of intimate partners”, which is the harassment of a current of former romantic partner. This form is also considered to be domestic violence. Another type is “of celebrities and public persons”. These stalkers usually believe that they know the person, although in reality they do not. There is also a form of cyber stalking in which groups on anonymous people organize themselves to target an individual. The most common victims of this type of cyber-stalking are women and minorities. In addition to the involved parties, Internet service providers and website owners can be blamed in this type of situation.
In addition to being a crime under state laws, cyber-stalking can come into play under slander and harassment laws as well. If you have been charged with cyber-stalking, it is important to call a criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can. Some of the elements of cyber-stalking can be difficult for the prosecution to prove against you when you have a good lawyer on your side. For example, to be “willful and malicious,” the defendant has to know that his advances or contact are unwanted. Mistakes or accidents are not “willful,” and a justified act is not “malicious.” However, although some of the elements are tough to prove, you still need an experienced lawyer because many people are in fact convicted under this statute.
Call a Boston Cyber Crimes Lawyer Now 617-512-0939
If you have been charged with cyber-stalking, Francis T. O’Brien Jr. of O’Brien Law Boston can draw on his many years of experience to help you. To speak with an expert Boston cyber crimes lawyer, click here, or telephone Francis T. O’Brien, Jr. at O’Brien Law Boston twenty four hours, seven days a week, toll free at 617-512-0939. There is no fee charged to discuss your case, and all information furnished will be kept strictly confidential.